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    Author(s): Samuel L. ZelinkaSamuel V. Glass; Donald S. Stone
    Date: 2008
    Source: Wood and fiber science. Vol. 40, no. 4 (Oct. 2008): Pages 544-552.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (227 KB)


    The first models used to describe electrical conduction in cellulosic materials involved conduction pathways through free water. These models were abandoned in the middle of the 20th century. This article re-evaluates the theory of conduction in wood by using a percolation model that describes electrical conduction in terms of overlapping paths of loosely bound or capillary water (Type II water). The model contains two physical parameters: w[subscript]c, the critical moisture fraction, which is the amount of water required to form a continuous path of Type II water in wood; and [sigma]c, the conductivity of the aqueous pathways. The model gives a good fit to previously published data of the DC conductivity of wood when w[subscript]c is equal to 16% moisture content and [sigma]c is equal to 0.88 S m−1. This analysis indicates that electrical conduction in wood can be explained by percolation theory and that there exists a continuous path of Type II water in wood at w[subscript]c, which is below the traditional fiber saturation point.

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    Zelinka, Samuel L.; Glass, Samuel V.; Stone, Donald S. 2008. A percolation model for electrical conduction in wood with implications for wood-water relations. Wood and Fiber Science 40(4): 544-552.


    Ionic conduction, conductivity, percolation theory, wood?water relations, electric conductivity, percolation, wood moisture, moisture, moisture content, percolation model, critical moisture fraction, fiber saturation point

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